Thé biggest triathlon race each year are the Ironman World Championships, in 2021 the race could not be held because of Covid-situations. Therefor the 2021 World championships were held this weekend in Saint-Georges, Utah! For the first time this championship was held on a ‘terrible’ racecours. Hot, windy, a lot of height on the bike course and 500D+ on the runcourse, that’s a lot!
As predicted this race would be a ‘killer’, several pro athletes who were in SG decided not to race just days and hours before the race. The winner would be the best, AG athletes would have no benefit riding in larger packs. Cool!
With 3firm athletes at the starting line (avg weight 81kg) and 1 lighter female athlete we had power in the game!
The fastest guy out of the water was Thibaud (Switzerland) in 56′! Thibaud had an excellent feeling leading up to the race and felt good throughout the bike! But with sun getting hotter, the body started to react weird. Being in 14th position at the start of the run he moved up in a conservative pace untill his stomach got block and he vomited all energy out of his body! ‘Claqué par l’insolation’, today 24h later this feels of course a bit frustrating, knowing the shape he was in! But a Swiss winter – flying to the US desert and racing can be hard for the body of course!
Our master Canadian, and one of the best cyclists of the world in his AG, Vadim swam steady, reached high on the bike and only former Yellow jersey in Tour de France, Laurent Jalabert, could pass him. Vadim dropped the bike just behind Jalabert. ‘Lolo’ got striked by the runcourse and also Vadim had a tough run before finishing this heavy race! They ended up close to eachother in the end.
Cai feared the WC race before the start and projected to herself not to finish last. Finishing last would never happen of course, an athlete well trained and able to perform steady will not see this happen! The coldswimwater was survived and in the first part of the bike she moved up well, in Snow Canyon she got unwell on the hot roads but managed to recover from it before heading to the runcourse!
With steeper hills on this course, this was not always pleasant but persistence was in her head! Cai finishes when in Belgium the coach drunk his first coffee of the day and finishes in the middle of her AG ranking! Well done!
And then we have Sam, master in patience and training smart in silence, well focussed leading up to the race and conscience about the possible difficulties during the race (Cold water – Winds – heat – very tough runcourse). Well knowing that except for the cold water, the difficulties are not against him.
With many IM AG wins and IM overall top 10results in his career he’s never to underestimate. A perfect preparation and well taking care of his body in the last weeks he was ready to race!
A correct swim, coming out of the water after 4K in 1h06′ and fresh legs on the bike! Pushing the bike towards a steady effort of 250NP up and down the hills with a slightly higher NP in the last part of the bike course. Clearly no ‘lost’ energy wasted during the bike course and going into T2 with Mike Schifferle, one of the top competitors in his AG.
Sam was very conscientious about not putting to much energy on the wrong moment in this race but putting the energy near the end of the race. A steady run followed on this heavy course and this made maintain his 2nd spot in his AG in this Ironman World Championship but also at age 46 move up to 60th overall position!
Not only the Ironman World championships were held this weekend, in Viborg (Denmark) the Middle distance duathlon worlds took place! We had 1 competitor racing: Debbie! Debbie who made a hug step forward in 18months already took 2nd place in the nationals crossduathlon, 2nd AG in the Europeans Middle distance and was heading to Viborg with doubts after a small sickness. No need to, when your shape is good and the viruses gone the body rebalances and ready she was! Once again she surprised friend and enemy (which she doesn’t have) and races a very strong race, finishes 8th(!!!) pro athletes included and 2nd AG in her AG!
In France another championship was held, the military OD championships. An important race for Lucas to manifest himself there. With 6days between this race and his previous 70.3race this was recovery wise quite tricky. But all was managed to get to the starting line fresh and loaded enough! After a strong effort he gets himself onto the podium, taking 3rd!
In Belgium Flèche Ardennaise (UCI1.2) was held, an important Ardennes race with the world’s best U23 riders at the starting line, this combined with several top amateur riders/(former) pro riders, 4000D+ and 178km. No better references than racing the best, racing hard courses. That’s the chance Lars gets this year from his team Urbano-Vuylsteke. Excellent program to grow strong and steady.
Being steady is one of our main goals. Being constant and riding finals in the biggest competitions as much as possible. This works, this happens. With LBL 12th, Monts et Chateaux top 20 in GC and Arden Challenge 4th in GC we can say he could be ambitious towards today.
The race was made hard and once the final really broke through Lars still had his energy in his pocket.
As we see in his Powerfile final really breaks through in the last hour of the race, where we see a 350NP for the last 45′ (67kg). A pity for Lars to just miss the group riding for 10th place but totally in the game after these riders. Small % make the difference at this level and he’s in touch of it. Finishing 21st today, before European U23 champion Nys is the continuation of his current season! With Pro race GP Vermarc upcoming weekend and Triptyque ardennaise the legs will have recover quickly now because games are on until then for the first part of the season!